Brief - The Hustle

PayPal goes ‘post-purchase’ with Happy Returns acquisition

Written by Kolby Hatch | May 19, 2021 7:18:21 AM

Last week, PayPal acquired logistics wunderkind Happy Returns for a “who knows, won’t tell” amount. The Santa Monica-based company provides logisticsl software and services to online retailers flooded with returns.

For PayPal, the acquisition is a bet on:


Based on Happy Returns’ own data, items purchased online are 3-4x more likely to be returned than those purchased in store. Data from the National Retail Federation supports that claim — customers returned nearly $1 out of every $5 spent online last year.

All those returns create a costly logistical and tracking nightmare for retailers.

Happy Returns helps online retailers manage returns with software and a network of 2.5k+ IRL Return Bars.’ Customers can return items by carrier or box-less to any Happy Returns drop-off. Participating retailers cut waste, costs, and operational headaches.

It’s wholesome stuff…

… but it’s really about the retail journey.

PayPal interest in Happy Returns goes beyond helping customers return misfitting pants. The company has ambitions to control the entire retail customer journey on- and offline.

Jamie, pull up the acquisition tracker:

And PayPal’s been courting Happy Returns for a while. Back in 2019, PayPal picked up most of the check during Happy Returns’ $11m financing round.

Consider this the follow-through.